Why I Teach: The Time I Had to Summon a "Legion of Demons" to Match Up
Jul 26, 2013 Young Learners 1961 Views
Two weeks before my internship, I was not feeling well; in fact, I was feigning sick. I was blaming my mom, and told her--as always: I was not cut out a teacher; that, I should take another course. Four years, I had been telling myself, that I had to drop the course and take psychology or marketing or what instead. For I knew, then, I would not be a fit to this profession. But, mother knows best; and, here I was, a teacher.
When assigned to second graders, I had not had the faintest idea of what my wards would be like. And there that very moment: I was not ready to meet them, what with their innocent eyes staring at me as if someone from outer space had invaded their little kingdoms; I felt totally awkward. Perspiring. Dunno what to do. Here I was, in the flesh, dealing with kids!
The school principal had entered the room, and I was still hesitant to go inside. She said things about me, which was not audible for she had a squeaky voice. Some children were giggling at the back every time the school principal spoke. They only stopped when she was about to bid good-bye.
Right after the school principal had left the room after introducing me... I closed the door and started getting acquainted with each one of them--45 pupils ready to get me summon my own "legion of demons" just to match up their "little monsters" hiding beneath their sleeves.
"Hi!" I said to them." Hi!" said all.
I was still nervous, sweat started to erupt in my forehead, had to grope for my hankie inside my pocket, and wipe them away. Together with the fear devouring me inside out since that fated morning.
"Hello!" I said. "Hello!" they helloed back.
"Oh, I hear echoes," I chuckled. "Maybe we have mountains, and valleys, and plains and creeks right here!"
Silence. Deafening one. They could not get what I have just said.
Got a chalk and draw on the board the plains, the valleys, and the mountains. I wanted them to see what I meant. But I doubt, if they had gotten even a slightest wisdom from what I was trying to impart.
Perhaps I was right. Some tall boys were not sitting at the back, but some in front row, others between small kids-- such an ugly seating plan if there was one.
I noticed a girl having a hard time watching me talk; for, someone taller, with broad shoulders and all that, was sitting just in front of her.
I smiled at the thought that perhaps they had not been properly arranged according to their height or body-built, they would have just occupied seats to their own liking. I felt something was missing, something was wrong: had to make a seating plan.
I asked the tallest one sitting right in front of me.
"I think, you should have occupied seat at the back, for that little girl behind you could not see me," I saw the girl behind him smiling now, and I convinced him more.
"In fact, she was having a hard time moving her head left to right just to see me talk to other kids here, and there."
For, emotional effect, which turned funny, I moved my head left to right showing how hard it was to lean over, left and right just to get a good view of someone.
At first, I did not get a response from him, then someone said," Carlos has hard hearing, sir."
"Oh I see. Carlos, you may take the seat at the far left or right if you like."
He just shook his head.
Then another kid said," He would not see the writings on the board if you do that sir. He's nearsighted."
So, in short: I had lots of things to do that day. I would separate the physically challenged pupils from the "normal" ones or those who did not have deformities like in hearing, eyesight and so on. Put them in each proper seating arrangements... of course with some protest coming from clique who would not want to take seat far away from each other. But, of course, I had the bigger number of demons, and those kids had just little monsters hiding in their sleeves.They had no option but to conform with my imposed seating plan.
And the girl who was having a hard time getting a good view of me? Well, I transferred her seat in front, beside the boy who was giving her a pain in the neck.
Then, they saw the plains, the valleys, the mountains, --some volcanoes at the back!
All my fears vanished about kids, their behaviors and all. For I had discovered all my fears are unfounded! So when I arrived home that afternoon, I saw my mother smiling at me; perhaps seeing in me that I had a great day with kids.
As the days passed by, they started liking their" neighbors" er sitting mates. No more hi!-hi!; there were hi!-hello's instead.
I went smoothly then with my daily lessons; reading aloud of animal stories; asking them what animals would they want be if they were ones and why; had them act out the best-loved part of the story, complete with costume--rented or sewn by their parents.
Everybody enjoyed the daily lessons, and when my internship was nearing its end... I felt like missing these kids already who had taught me a lot of things indirectly --let me see through their innocence that kids were ready to learn a thing or two through the help of a teacher. For, while I was teaching them, I was also learning from them in return. My daily battle, literally and figuratively, with these kids made me sometimes victorious, other times defeated but, all in all, I had meaningful reflections, and authentic learning!
Since then, I have conquered my fears of little monsters under the sleeves of kids, and there is no need for me to summon a legion of demons, for all I have wanted to do now is to help every "little David" slay his perceived GOLIATH within-- through education.